Off Topic Personal

Your Independence

To my American friends… I just got back to my hotel room after watching Independence Day fireworks. We’re visiting my wife’s family in Chicago, and just like the rest of the thousands of people watching this show, we had a wonderful time watching the pyrotechnic display. It was beautiful. (That’s one of the photos we […]

To my American friends…

I just got back to my hotel room after watching Independence Day fireworks. We’re visiting my wife’s family in Chicago, and just like the rest of the thousands of people watching this show, we had a wonderful time watching the pyrotechnic display.

It was beautiful. (That’s one of the photos we took this evening.)

But I wonder how many of these thousands of people actually reflected on the true meaning of today’s celebration.

As each firework was launched from its mortar, we heard a loud boom. Moments later, we’d see a bright light, followed by another boom as the lighted artwork filled the sky.

What ran through my mind is that we’re sitting here, in the greatest country in the world, celebrating with these huge gunshots, but 234 years ago, the bombs were real, and men who had far more guts than I ever will fought vigorously to be free from oppression in all forms — oppression of speech, of assembly, of religion, of happiness, and of prosperity.

It’s because of those men, and the brave women who fought alongside and in support of them, that we have this wonderful country we’re in.

And I think that it’s a worthwhile use of my time to remember them on this day…and to also remember the people who are fighting today for the same things. Our military personnel risk their lives fighting for our freedom, and I’m indebted to them daily.

There were a number of military personnel in the airport as we arrived here a few days ago, hopefully going home to see family. For the last several years, to each member of the military I see, and to each police officer and to every other man or woman in uniform serving our country, our states, or our cities, I say “Thank you for your service.”

They almost always say something to the effect of “I appreciate that, sir” or “It’s my honor, sir” or “Thank you for saying so, sir.”

I want them to know that their work is appreciated, and that I’m humbled by the risk they take every day for me and my family. I would not have what I have today if I lived in any other country in the world.

I don’t know where you are in your own quest for the American Dream online. I hope you’re well on your way. But even if you’re just starting out, or had a few struggles now and then, know that this country is a blessing to you, and that you wouldn’t have the opportunities you have without it.

I am truly thankful every day for what I have and for what I can achieve, for what you have and for what you can achieve, and for us both living in an environment that not only permits our prosperity, but is based upon it.

At least, that’s the way it is today.

May the United States of America remain the greatest country in the world, despite the threats it faces, both from without and within.

And may God Bless America.

–Mark Widawer

9 replies on “Your Independence”

Hey Mark,

This is one of the nicest 4th of July messages I have ever read.

And having traveled extensively in Central and South America in 2009-2010, I echo that your sentiments are correct.

Being able to look at America from the outside is a great experience to have. And, for all the challenges she faces, our land of the free and home of the brave is a place where it really is possible to pursue and achieve your dreams. The conditions exist for anyone who wants to fulfill dreams to make them a reality.

Yes, may God continue to bless the United States of America.


Jonathan Kraft
(currently in New Zealand)
.-= Jonathan Kraft (in New Zealand)´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

It’s great to hear from you Jonathan!
I am quite certain that travelling the world on the money you make from your Internet Marketing business gives you some real perspective on the rights and liberties that you have as a citizen here.
I’m sure the contrast between the places you’ve seen and the places you call “Home” are stark.
Hugs to Carrie. Can’t wait to see you two again!

p.s. I’ll be in Colorado next week. I don’t suppose you’d fly back for a visit?

Hi Mark!

That was great! In all my years of military service and attending the military festivals and celebrations for the 4th–having to listen to the base commanders say their scpill–it never sounded so good.

Your words are indeed a morale booster! Although I didn’t read this until today, I have still forwarded it to several buddies I have who are overseas currently. I hope they will pass this message along and a ripple effect occurs…so that everyone over there will know that SOMEONE on this side of the water cares.

Thank you, Thank you Mark!


As always, well said Mark.

My dad was a Navy Captain of a destroyer escort in WWII (USS Buckley), and on his 28th birthday, he and his crew rammed and sunk a Nazi submarine in the Atlantic.

Just 28 years old… I am always amazed at how young and brave the men & women are who risk their lives so we can enjoy what we have in this country.

Not only do they risk their lives for us here in the USA, but also for folks in other countries.

Thanks Mark for reminding us that we need to go out of our way every day to let those heroes know just how much we appreciate what they do for us around the globe.

.-= Brent´s last blog ..Longest Tennis Match In YOUR History – We Have A Winner- =-.

Thank you Mark for your post, your example of gratitude and your commitment to help others. We do have an amazingly huge number of things to be thankful for and that holds true regardless of whether we are numbered amongst the best off or the worst off here in this great country we call home. We are blessed…and thank you for the reminder.


So nice to see so many Americans showing their patriotism across the net. Sad to say, it took 911 to make me really think about what it means to be an American but because of that its something I can never forget. Thanks to all those that make it all possible and thanks for the post.

Hi Mark,
Thanks so much for this great letter. It is so refreshing to hear gratitude expressed for this great nation that we live in and the freedom we have. I have been fortunate to travel the world and know there are beautiful places and people everywhere. But what we have here is incomparable and worth any effort it takes to preserve that.

Best to you,


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